Weight loss doesn’t occur in a vacuum, although some television and Internet ads may lead you to think it does. “Follow this plan and lose 20 pounds” the ad promises, or “Sign up for our $150.00 special weight loss program and watch the fat melt away” flashes an Internet ad on a site you visit.
The truth is – losing weight isn’t mostly about the program you follow, but rather how well you do at following your program through those inevitably difficult life circumstances that will come your way.
I’ll admit to having a Pollyanna attitude when it came to my weight loss efforts. I never even thought about how I would handle difficulties, or even whether difficulties would come my way. Instead, I blithely started out on my newest diet and did okay for the first little bit of time. If I didn’t get bored or frustrated with my diet, and actually stuck with it for more than a week or two, something would inevitably happen to throw a kink into my dieting world.
One time, two of my children got sick at the same time. That sent my diet into a tailspin because I worried about them, and started eating whatever was within reach. Another time, we had a financial crisis with an expensive car repair, and I couldn’t keep focused on my diet with all the stress of that.
Did I do anything to cause these stumbling blocks and obstacles? No – these circumstances were definitely beyond my control, and I wasn’t prepared for them. Honestly – who is?
Whether you are a brand new dieter, a seasoned pro, or somewhere in between, I’d encourage you to not get discouraged if sticking to your diet is hard when things happen in your life that you can’t control. You may find that you slip right back into old, unhealthy habits. I know I did. But instead of allowing the old habits to stay around permanently, take some steps to get back on the right track – even if you are still struggling with whatever problem is going on.
When I was losing weight, I had a major life event that really could have derailed my most successful weight loss effort to that point in my obesity. (I’ll share that event in another post, as it really is worthy of having its own post.) But although I did slip for a few days or a week, I didn’t let the slip-up turn into a permanent problem.
You can’t change your circumstances, but you can stop reacting to the circumstances with overeating or making unhealthy food choices.
Any thoughts? Diane